In happier news…

…college football begins this week.

Kansas State vs UCLA on Saturday; there are still about a thousand tickets left, according to the alma mater. I wish I was closer to Manhattan so I could go. I haven’t seen a K-State football game live since the 2001 Cotton Bowl, which sucks – I miss football Saturdays in Manhattan so much…


I had a pretty good “This Week in Twitter” post cooking up on my laptop; I was trying to compose it in a trial of MarsEdit to see if I wanted to take the plunge and buy that thing for managing the ol’ blog, but it decided to eat about five days’ worth of updates for some reason. And I do not feel like backtracking through an entire week of Twitter updates from teh 100-something folks I follow (many of whom are quite proflic) to remind myself of what I put in there.

So I’m skipping a week. It’ll hopefully be back on Sunday. Damn your dirty, evil soul, MarsEdit.

Work stuff

I don’t post about work stuff very often here because, well, it’s work and the other stuff I post about here is fun. But I did two things today that I thought were fun, so I wanted to share them.

First, this silly little image is going to be a handout at Bemidji’s Women’s Expo; this will have a little fun-size bag of M&Ms stapled to it and it’ll be handed out at a presentation given by a couple of BSU staff members. There’s nothing to this, but it’s the first “design” assignment I’ve had at work in I have no idea how long, so I jumped at the chance to do it. I’d change some things if I had to do this again, but isn’t that always the case?

Second, I wrote this story about a lecture coming up on campus in September; a guy who spent 17 years at the Navy’s NCIS lab in San Diego as a forensic chemist is coming to speak during a meeting of the American Chemical Society’s local section. I liked the lead a lot.

Charlton Comic Guide

Somebody scanned and posted JPEGs of Charlton Comics’ “The Comic Book Guide for the Artist • Writer • Letterer” from 1973. I made a handy-dandy PDF of the images for easier consumption. Download it if you wish; it even includes the old Code of the Comic Magazine Association of America, which is a great read if you are old enough to remember when comics had “Comic Code Approved!” on the covers. Very cool.

Charlton Comic Guide (6.8 MB PDF)

Solid few days for movies

It’s been a pretty good four day run or so for movie watching at Casa del Bartlett.

Saturday, I finally got a chance to hit the theater to catch “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and I absolutely loved it. Visuals, music, everything; it was a wonderful movie. I’d definitely go see it in the theaters again, and it’s a Day One buy on BluRay, for sure. Pay no heed to those reviewers who say “nobody over 30 will get it” or “nobody under 20 will get it,” for they are morons. I’m 38 and I can tell you without hesitation I thought it was fantastic, and Daughter the First is 12 and has already gone twice.

We’ve gone through some pretty good movies on DVD at home, too – even though we suffered through the absolutely horrid horror movie “Shallow Ground” on Sunday night, which didn’t make a shred of sense and had one of the stupidest endings you can possibly imagine for a low-budget bad horror movie, which is saying something.

Beyond that, we finally saw “Jennifer’s Body,” and neither Mel nor I can understand the hate for that movie; we both really liked it. It’s exactly what it was advertised to be – a schlocky, cheesy horror movie. But it was a schlocky, cheesy horror movie that was well-shot, well-acted and had some fun dialogue. I’m not sure what people were expecting out of this; we got exactly what we paid for, and we loved it.

Last night, we watched “Whip It,” Drew Barrymore’s roller derby movie with Ellen Paige, and we both really liked it too even though we couldn’t really put our fingers on exactly why we liked it. It was just a different twist on the “find your place in the world” story you see in movies relatively frequently, and in the words of one of the sidebar characters from the film, “Why do you think I wouldn’t enjoy hot chicks in fishnets beating the crap out of each other?” Fun movie, great soundtrack, fun to look at. Definitely worth a rental.

We also saw Justin Timberlake’s “Alpha Dog,” and there really isn’t much to say about that movie; it just wasn’t very good. The pacing was screwed up, it wasn’t edited well, the key conflict in the plot was left completely unresolved, and it waffled back and forth in style between narrative and fake documentary to the point that neither aspect really worked, and they gave away the ending to the movie halfway through. It was bizarre; definite missed potential here, because this could’ve been a much better movie in the hands of more skilled filmmakers.

That taps out our movie supply for now. I think we’re going to watch “Susperia” on Netflix tonight, which I’m excited about. I’ve seen this classic horror movie a few times, but not for several years. Can’t wait to watch it again…

This Week on Twitter for Sunday, Aug. 22

I have come to rather enjoy myself on Twitter; this is a brief look at the best stuff I saw there this week from the folks I follow.

Rick Remender
“I don’t say it enough, but you’re all terrible monsters. Nature made many sad mistakes in each of you. Down with nature!”
Rick Remender is a writer; I haven’t been following him long, a week or two maybe, but he’s very entertaining.

Scottie Young (@skottieyoung)
“My taste in art is like cooking. Many people do it well but the ones that take risks and add big bold flavor keep me coming back for more.”
Skottie Young is a comic book artist.

Nathan Cosby (@NateCosboom)
“33rd year anniversary of the Government feeding us the lie that Elvis is “dead.” Give it up, Government! I had lunch with him last week.”
Nathan is an editor at Marvel Comics.

Laura Samnee (@LauraSamnee)
“Is there some sort of minimum amount of cologne rule for car salesmen?  It smells like a middle school dance in here.”
Laura is the wife of comic book artist Chris Samnee; Chris is currently drawing the hell out of Thor: The Mighty Avenger.

Gail Simone (@GailSimone)
Gail is a writer; she and I had a brief exchange on Wednesday about this Dr. Laura situation regarding a certain very bad word. It went like this:
Gail: “I love all the apologists for Dr. Laura, trying to say, “She has a point.” Let me help. No, she doesn’t.”
Me: “Of course she does; the double-standard surrounding that particular word is absurd. If it’s bad, it’s bad. If it’s OK, it’s OK.”
Me: “It can’t be simultaneously egregious and a badge of honor.”
Gail: “Did you read the entire transcript, including what she said before and after?”
Gail: “It can’t? OF COURSE IT CAN. That’s the myth of the value neutral viewpoint, that one opinion, the viewer’s, is the baseline.”
Me: “No; she may full-well be a nutjob. Not the point, really; double standard surrounding that word is an issue regardless.”
Gail: “Read the transcript. Be informed.”
Me: “Fair enough; I will do this. Will report back if my opinion changes. :)”
Me, later: “Read transcript; thought about this more; came up with a morally-equivalent situation…”
“…that for some reason never occurred to me previously. I can now see the argument for “OK for us, bad for you” even though…”
“…I think the world would still be a better place if that word would just disappear altogether.”

I really enjoyed this; she made me think, and I came up with answers to a situation that I hadn’t come up with on my own previous to this. And, hey, I had a conversation with Gail Simone. 🙂 So, thanks, Gail.

Brandon Jerwa (@jerwa)
“There’s an otherwise-tiny young woman here wearing a gray top over her EXTREMELY pregnant belly. She looks like the Death Star.”
Brandon Jerwa is a writer, and we share a common hometown.

Tommy Patterson (@TommyFPatterson)
“If I were a whore that could cast spells I’d use Ho-cus Poke-us exclusively.”
Tommy Patterson is an artist. This is one of the frequent laugh-out-loud moments I get as a result of following him.

Tim Fitzgerald (@LifeofFitz)
“@WhitlockJason Just to be clear, when I get liquored up and kiss my male employees on the neck IT IS in the sexual way. Giddy up.”
Tim Fitzgerald is the editor of Powercat Illustrated, a fan magazine covering Kansas State University sports. I worked with him during my days in the K-State athletic department.

Friday night drawing, or “trying again”

I’m going to try again to kick out a few sketchbook pages tonight, and hopefully will come up with some results I’m more pleased with. I’m going to switch reference books, just to change things up a little, and see if that helps. I need mannikin practice, and I really like the look of the one being used in this new book; we’ll see if getting into a different way to present the shapes will help the end result.

Drawing last night; took a step backward

Mel went out with some friends last night, so I sat down and tried to kick out a couple of pages of drawing practice in my sketchbook. I did get the two pages in, but everything I tried to draw was *terrible*. Everything was a step in the wrong direction from the things I was trying earlier in the week; I couldn’t get proportions down, nothing looked right, and the one thing that started going in the right direction fell apart halfway through and the end result was more of the same.

I know I shouldn’t be getting frustrated because I really haven’t had/made/whatever the time to do the work I know I need to do. But, sheesh.

I know I’ve got it in me and that, somewhere, I can find again the guy who drew this almost 20 years ago (yikes). But right now, I’m amazingly frustrated.